A Friends school, pre-K to 12, on 47 acres in East Falls, Philadelphia


OPC Weekend: It's a Wrap

OPC Weekend: It's a Wrap

Old Penn Charter Weekend 2019


On May 3 and 4, Penn Charter alumni gathered to celebrate Old Penn Charter with former classmates and teachers, new and old friends. At the 127th OPC Weekend Awards Ceremony and Reception, our community honored Richard A. Balderston, Deborah Kaesshaefer, Timothy Lynch and Head of School Darryl J. Ford for their contributions. See photos of the weekend.

Richard A. Balderston OPC '69 received the Alumni Award of Merit. His remarkable surgical career has spanned 32 years, focusing primarily on adult and adolescent spinal deformity, spinal fractures, and lumbar spinal disorders. He was co-director of the Regional Spinal Cord Injury Center and director of the Spine Fellowship Program at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, and he is co-founder of 3B Orthopaedics. Richard and his wife, Claudia, are the parents of Philip OPC '02 and Jessica OPC '05.

Balderston was presented with the award by Anne Marble Caramanico on behalf of the Alumni Society. View excerpts from his acceptance speech in the video above.

Deborah Kaesshaefer, teacher and chair of the Performing Arts Department, and science teacher Tim Lynch were awarded Honorary 1689 diplomas. This year, there was also a surprise recipient: Head of School Darryl J. Ford.

Thomas Lee OPC '69, representing the 50th reunion class, presented a combined gift to a Class of 1969 Scholarship Fund that is designed to provide financial aid to four Upper School students who, beginning in ninth grade, show leadership and engagement in academics, arts and athletics. The class set a goal to raise $400,000 and, Lee said, OPC '69s have raised "$425,000, so far."

The weekend continued on Saturday with the OPCs of Color Networking Brunch, the OPC Family Playdate, and individual class reunions. See all the photos.


Jill and Timothy Lynch Hon. 1689

The "student-teacher relationship distinguishes Penn Charter — it's how we teach students to live lives that make a difference and how students inspire us to do so."

Deborah Kaesshaefer Hon. 1689

"This just means the world to me. Being included with my daughters, Megan and Laura, Class of 2004, and my son, Scott, Class of 2008, and of course my wonderful husband, Charlie Kaesshaefer Class of '71 — it is an honor to be included in the Class of 1689."


Charlie Brown and Darryl J. Ford, both Hon. 1689

"What a wonderful honor to now be a graduate of the school ... What an honor it is to work at the William Penn Charter School.

"I thank all of the faculty and staff with whom I have been able to work these last 22 years. I thank my family, my children, my brother and sister-in-law, and my wife, Gail, without whom I could not do this work. And I thank all of the Overseers for their support.

"This is a wonderful place because there are wonderful people here." 

Other News Stories